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The 10 Best Fast Foods That Are Easy on the Stomach

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I have suffered from digestive issues for my entire adult life. From lactose intolerance to GERD, I’ve got it. Because of this, I am constantly searching for food and drink that sit well on my fickle stomach. So, I decided to compile this list to help out my fellow tin tummy citizens of the world.

Meals from fast-food restaurants that are easy on the stomach are those that are high in fiber and protein and low in fat. In general, such options are the best option for the overall health of your stomach. 

In this article, I’ll explain the various reasons why fast food may upset your stomach. I’ll also recommend some of the better fast foods to choose to prevent this from happening.

10 Fast Food Choices That Are Easy on the Stomach

If you’re in a hurry, and need to eat a fast food meal, thankfully there are many choices for sensitive stomachs. Below is a table explaining the best fast food choices that are easy on the stomach, and the pros and cons of each: 

ItemProsCons
McDonald’s Egg McMuffinHigh in protein to keep you fuller for longerThe muffin part contains refined carbohydrates with little fiber and can cause your blood sugar level to spike
Wendy’s Apple Pecan Chicken SaladExcellent way to consume your daily recommended vitamins and nutrientsNo carbohydrates so not suitable before or after heavy exercise
Burger King HamburgerLow in sodium and suitable for those with high blood pressureContains red meat 
Chick-fil-A 12-Piece Grilled NuggetsLow-calorie option
Low in carbs and fat
Can be plain-tasting without sauce
Starbucks Blueberry OatmealLow in calories Fiber-rich
Satisfying due to the high-carb content 
Little protein and you may feel hungry within a couple of hours
Taco Bell Veggie Power Menu BowlBlack beans are an excellent lean protein source
Full of antioxidants
High refined-carb content 
Subway Veggie Delite SandwichTasty way to consume plenty of vitamins and fiberNot suitable if you’re gluten-intolerant
KFC Original Recipe Grilled Chicken WingsTasty and protein-rich
Cost-effective meal
Serving size may not be satisfying
Low in vitamins
Dairy Queen Grilled Chicken SandwichLow in saturated fat
Excellent greasy hamburger alternative
Contains little fiber and many refined carbs
Panera Avocado, Egg White, and Spinach SandwichFull of vitamins, minerals, protein, and healthy fatMay taste bland as it contains very little seasoning

I’ll discuss these sensitive stomach-friendly options in more detail below: 

1. McDonald’s: Egg McMuffin

McDonald’s is arguably the most popular fast-food restaurant in the world, and trying to eat healthy here can be challenging at times. If you still want a satisfying meal, then an Egg McMuffin is the way to go. 

The Egg McMuffin comes in at 300 calories (1255 kJ) with 12 grams (0.42 oz) of fat, 30 grams (1.05 oz) of carbs, and 17 grams (0.6 oz) of protein. 

The high amount of protein will keep your hunger satisfied, while the lower amount of fat will keep your stomach happy. And with McDonald’s breakfast now served all day, there’s no excuse for missing out on this delicious treat.

Ham egg and cheese on an english muffin

2. Wendy’s: Apple Pecan Chicken Salad

Wendy's Sign

If you’re going to opt for a fast-food salad, then Wendy’s is the place to be. Their apple pecan chicken salad does not skip out on flavor. 

A full apple pecan chicken salad from Wendy’s offers 23 grams (0.8 oz) of fat, 41 grams (1.45 oz) of carbs, and 39 grams (1.38 oz) of protein. This meal comes in at 520 calories (2176 kJ). 

This salad is chock full of healthy ingredients that shouldn’t disturb your stomach. The chicken is grilled instead of fried, making it a very smart option for both your stomach and your health. The pecans also provide an extra kick of protein and fiber to help you digest your meal better. 

3. Burger King: Hamburger

You can still enjoy the traditional Burger King hamburger without causing your stomach to hurt. 

A regular hamburger from Burger King contains 10 grams (0.35 oz) of fat, 26 grams (0.92 oz) of carbs, and 13 grams (0.46 oz) of protein. This is also one of the lower-sodium items on the menu, coming in at 380mg (0.013 oz).

If gluten causes your digestive issues, you can also order it without the bun. And if fast-food hamburgers tend to upset your stomach, then you may consider trying out Burger King’s plant-based sandwich.

Hand Reaching for a Burger King Cheeseburger
Go ahead, grab that burger!

4. Chick-fil-A: 12-Piece Grilled Nuggets

Everyone loves a good chicken nugget, but the fried chicken most restaurants offer often causes stomach problems. 

Chick-fil-A’s grilled nuggets are a great alternative to the classic fried chicken nuggets. Twelve nuggets are only 210 calories (879 kJ) and contain 5 grams (0.18 oz) of fat, 3 grams (0.11 oz) of carbs, and 38 grams (1.34 oz) of protein. 

The low carb and fat content make it a great option for people who are health-conscious, and the high protein content makes it great for satiety and muscle growth. 

5. Taco Bell: Veggie Power Menu Bowl

The veggie power menu bowl from Taco Bell is a healthy and satisfying menu option. 

This bowl comes in at 430 calories (1799 kJ) with 17 grams (0.56 oz) of fat, 57 grams (2 oz) of carbs, and 12 grams (0.42 oz) of protein. This bowl is somewhat high in carbs, but it’s still a better alternative than many Taco Bell menu items. 

If you’re more interested in a taco, order it “fresco style” for a healthier choice. This replaces the foods that often cause an upset stomach –such as sour cream, guacamole, sauces with mayo, and cheeses– with fresh pico de gallo, instead. 

6. Starbucks: Blueberry Oatmeal

Starbucks has a fairly healthy menu all around, but some choices are better than others. The classic oatmeal is always a safe choice because it’s high in fiber, which is good for your gut health. The blueberry oatmeal offers all of the same benefits while also giving you a full serving of fruit. 

One serving of blueberry oatmeal from Starbucks contains 220 calories (920.5 kJ), 2.5 grams (0.09 oz) of fat, 43 grams (1.52 oz) of carbs, and 5 grams (0.18 oz) of protein. 

Not only can oatmeal from Starbucks prevent an upset stomach, but it can also help ease an already upset stomach. 

7. Subway: Veggie Delite Sandwich

Subway is generally one of the healthiest fast-food chains if you know what and how to order. The veggie delite sandwich is full of delicious and healthy vegetables. 

One 6-inch sub is 200 calories (837 kJ) and contains 2 grams (0.07 oz) of fat, 39 grams (1.38 oz) of carbs, and 8 grams (0.28 oz) of protein. 

This choice should be very easy on the stomach as it contains no grease, only fresh ingredients. If you’re looking for something a little heavier, then the tuna sandwich is your next best bet. 

8. KFC: Original Recipe Grilled Chicken Wings

The traditional fried chicken options from KFC can make your stomach hurt due to the high amount of grease and fat. KFC offers a wide selection of grilled chicken options that should be better for the digestive system. 

A grilled chicken wing from KFC comes in at 130 calories (544 kJ) and contains 8 grams (0.28 oz) of fat, 3 grams (0.11 oz) of carbs, and 10 grams (0.35 oz) of protein. Three grilled chicken wings is the suggested serving size. 

Paired with some fresh broccoli, this makes for a balanced meal that should be easy to digest. 

9. Dairy Queen: Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Grilled chicken wins once again. The grilled chicken sandwich is a great choice from the popular Dairy Queen chain. 

One grilled chicken sandwich offers 15 grams (0.53 oz) of fat, 34 grams (1.2 oz) of carbs, and 29 grams (1.02 oz) of protein. 

If you would like to pair this with ice cream, then the best stomach-friendly option would be a cup of soft serve. 

10. Panera: Avocado, Egg White, and Spinach Sandwich

Everyone loves a good sandwich from Panera. One of the best options is the avocado, egg white, and spinach sandwich

This sandwich has 14 grams (0.49 oz) of fat, 52 grams (1.83 oz) of carbs, and 21 grams (0.74 oz) of protein. 

While this option is higher in fat, it’s generally composed of healthy fats from the avocado and is packed with protein from the egg whites.

Why Does Your Stomach Hurt After Eating Fast Food?

A Man Grabbing His Stomach Due to Discomfort

Your stomach may hurt after eating fast food due to high amounts of grease and fat. Greasy and high-fat foods can be harmful to your health and cause stomach aches and other issues. Furthermore, if you don’t eat fast foods very often, your body may have an adverse reaction when you do eat them.

Grease

The major culprit when it comes to an aching stomach after fast food is the grease that these restaurants cook with. 

Greasy food has also been known to harm the healthy bacteria that live in your gut. A healthy gut is essential to keeping your immune system high and your heart healthy. If you destroy your gut with greasy fast foods, you could have more serious health consequences than just a stomach ache. 

High in Fat

The high amount of grease in fast foods also tends to increase the amount of fat you’re consuming. Your body needs protein, carbohydrates, and fats, but fast food gives you less protein and more unhealthy fats and carbs. 

Fat is also the hardest of the three macronutrients for your body to break down, so consuming large amounts of it can cause an upset stomach. 

Your Body Isn’t Used to It

Aside from having a low nutritional value, fast food is just not something that most people are used to having on a daily basis. 

It takes time for your digestive system to adapt to new foods, and fast food is no exception. While some foods can be easy for your body to adjust to, fast food is not usually in this category due to it being very processed and high in sodium.

For more, check out 6 Best Alcoholic Drinks That Are Easy on the Stomach.

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